Weekend Preview 24-03-18

For a change this week we’ll start in Division One where the top two meet at Hurn Bridge. With games in hand and a 6 point cushion, Christchurch are sitting pretty but will want to maintain their unbeaten home record. For Stoneham this is a must win game as promotion rivals are hot on their heels. Talking of promotion rivals, Romsey Town are emerging as dark horses but they face a tricky visit to the unpredictable New Milton side.

With Laverstock & New Street facing off in a Friday night fixture, both other promotion teams face opposition from the lower reaches of the division. U.S. Portsmouth hosted Whitchurch only 2 weeks ago and won 2-0 so a similar score on Saturday would suit them and Tadley, in desperate need of points, play hosts to an improving Hythe & Dibden side. Elsewhere East Cowes visit Downton and Alton travel to the fading Ringwood side though goals are not usually in short supply at Long Lane.

With Petersfield out of action on Saturday, the relegation battle in the Premier Division resumes at Amesbury and Newport this weekend. Both sides looked doomed with only one win between them in 2018 and that way back in mid January. Cowes are the only other side that realistically could get dragged into a relegation battle and they face the long trip to Amesbury knowing that a win would see them safe. Newport have a hard run in and an improving Brockenhurst will be difficult opposition.

At the top Andover seem to have recovered after losing consecutive games at the end of February but they know they can not afford any further slip ups against Baffins Milton Rovers whose first season at this level looks set to end in comfortable mid-table. Blackfield equally can not afford to lose points in a tricky away game at Bemerton.

As usual at this stage of the season the fixture list contains several games where only pride is at stake. But, every other game features a close match up where result prediction is difficult. On paper Lymington have the easiest task as Shaftesbury seem to struggle on the road and Horndean will expect to beat Bashley though the latter play attractive football and can beat anybody on their day.

Team Solent v Alresford is really too close to call as is Portland at Fareham though Portchester take a good run of form into their game at Bournemouth.